Old White Bear (ex Ye Olde White Bear), Hampstead

Our rating: FAP Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (8 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Formerly the most homely pub in the area, Ye Olde White Bear closed in late 2009. We said at the time that we feared it would join the ranks of overtly aspirational, expensive and underwhelming establishments which have crept into the area when it reopened. Well, that is exactly what happened. Every inch of charm has been entirely eviscerated. Stripped back to the plaster, out has gone the wood panelling, the six ales and the ambience. It's clear that a lot of money was spend on the refurbishment, what with extravagances such as the marble topped bar. The heavy wooden furniture would look pretty good in any back garden, but here, in this poor old pub, it was a cross between an All Bar One and a backdrop to a BBC2 cookery programme; it looks contrived in its staged, rigid conformity. The black shirt, uniformed staff bordered on the sarcastic and food prices edged towards the mid teens. It was hard to see what was on offer to drink, as the two pumps appeared to be ornamental. However upon asking we discovered that they dispensed London Pride. Barely able to contain our excitement, we wondered whether this was the usual procedure: ale by appointment only. You might gather we didn't like it here, not only for ruining a great pub, but because on its own merits it's now downright depressing. Drinking in Hampstead is nowadays a mere shadow of its former self, with more and more pubs refurbishing themselves unsympathetically. The success of the nearby and freshly redone Duke of Hamilton suggests that, thankfully, it's not quite the end of decent drinking in a once lovely area, but you could prove it to us by this one.
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Reviews (3)
25 Aug 2013
Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
How the new owners got away with ripping out one of the finest Victorian pub interiors in London is beyond me. I have given it several chances (as it is my nearest pub, sadly no longer my local) but it still fails in every way. On the last visit I asked why there were no labels on the beer taps and was told that the owner thought they lacked class!!! Yes, but how are we supposed to know what beer you're selling? My wife went for a drink on her own one day and was incessantly hassled about when she was going to order food. Lets be clear this is no longer a pub, but there's a simple solution...... It's called the Duke of Hamilton and it's one minutes walk up the hill!
Reviews (27)
22 Jul 2012
Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
How to destroy what was an utterly beautiful pub. A sorry sign of the times.
Reviews (2)
22 Jan 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Now open again, perfectly nice pub with good guest beers, certainly not a "trendy Tapas bar" just a pub.
Reviews (6)
22 Oct 2009
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Me and a friend were planning to visit the pubs of Hampsstead for the first time this weekend, and in my research, I hear that this is closed...only for a few months, for refurbishment, but the plan is to re-open it as trendy Tapas Bar....alas, the dagger in my heart. A worrying occurance.
Reviews (1)
18 Jan 2009
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
had a great sunday lunch (fore - rib of beef) just after xmas so cant agree with some of the food remarks. great choice of ales as well. traditional pub, one of a dying breed.
Reviews (1)
26 Oct 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I came here for diner lat night and what a disappointment, it used to have very respectable food and I always popped by when I was in the village, but now the grub its not more worthy than a weatherspoons. First off our table was dirty and the rubbish was not cleaned off it until we asked at the bar. I ordered a steak and Guinness pie, it was tolerable, it came with"seasonal" vegetables, which was a few dingy carrots, a dirty cauliflower and some steamed broccoli, I was almost embarrassed by the whole affair after ranting to my friends about this hidden gem. The cesar salad did not even have cesar dressing but some kind of mayonnaise and the portion was pitiful, what is happening to this place, the last few times I went the food has gone downhill, and this is not quality establishment it once was, barely a 2 pinter.
Reviews (2)
06 Aug 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Lovely pub with great range of well-kept beers. Let down by recent deterioration in food from OK to yuk - hope this is addressed soon.

Contact details
Well Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 1LJ
020 7435 3758
Opening times
Mon-Fri 11:30-23:00
Sat: 11:00-23:00
Sun: 12:00-22:30
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